Notes on the Geography of Sri Lanka: Gampola
Back in the 14th century, when temples like Gadaladeniya were being built, Gampola was a royal city. There's not much regality left, but there is a surprisingly ornate Hindu temple and a good deal of cultivable land that, in this hilly country, must once have put the city in the center of its own granary.
Downtown: the central crossroads.
Let's follow those trucks.
They take us to this paint-deprived Hindu temple, built for the plantation-based Tamils.
Inside, a quiet courtyard.
The back of the inner sanctum.
Before the inner sanctum, a quartet of elaborately carved columns.
A few miles downstream, along the Mahaweli. A temple sits on the floodplain--the river running at the foot of the ridge.
The form echoes Embekke.
Ornamentation is minimal, however.
You won't find many places in the old Kandyan Kingdom with land like this--certainly nowhere near Kandy. In the background, the fields are growing manioc, a popular crop here, with profits much higher than those from paddy.
A close-up of the manioc (the source of tapioca).
A very unusual sight for central Sri Lanka: perhaps ten acres laid out in exceptionally large paddies.
We've come upstream from Gampola, where again there's a lot of cultivable land.
The farmer is letting a second crop sprout spontaneously from the last crop's stubble.
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